Acts 17:22-34 (NRSV)
God has fixed a day of judgment
Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, "Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, 'To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him - though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we too are his offspring.' Since we are God's offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."
When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, "We will hear you again about this." At that point Paul left them. But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
As Christians we are called to share the good news about Jesus' life, death and resurrection with everyone that we meet.
The Apostle Paul took this commission very seriously and did his level best to make Jesus accessible to Jews and Gentiles alike.
I am touched by Paul's willingness to meet his hearers where they were. He said, "...as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, 'To an unknown god.'"
This is a wonderful way to evangelize others! Paul took the time to get to know the people he sought to serve. He came to understand what was important to them. And then he proclaimed Jesus Christ crucified and risen in terms that they could understand.
Now it is true that some scoffed at his preaching; I think anyone who does evangelism knows that this is a very real risk at all times.
But, there were others like Dionysius, Damaris, and others who heard the good news and believed!
I truly believe that when even one person comes to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, heaven rejoices!
Since this is true, then no amount of scoffing, nor fear of shame, should keep us from shouting from the rooftops, "Christ has died! Christ has risen! Christ shall come again!"
It is my prayer that all of us will become bold witnesses for Christ in the days ahead...
Let us pray: Gracious Lord God, I pray that you will root out the fear within me that keeps me from sharing your good news with others. I have been so blessed by my relationship with you through Jesus Christ and I know in my heart that others will be too! Please help me to share my love for you with everyone that I meet. I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.